While Minnesota ace Johan Santana has been grabbing most of the attention during the Twins’ push toward a third straight division title, Radke has quietly established himself as one of the stronger No. 2 starters in the league.
The veteran right-hander is unbeaten in his last three starts, surrendering just two runs and 17 hits over 22 innings.
On Monday, Radke yielded a run and seven hits over seven innings in a 5-3 victory over Detroit for his sixth victory in seven decisions since July 16. Radke struck out six and did not walk a batter for the second straight game.
Despite another strong outing, Radke was less than satisfied with his performance Monday.
“I felt a little off. The results were there,” Radke said. “But I didn’t have command of my fastball. Had command of my changeup, that’s it.”
The Twins had their nine-game winning streak snapped in Friday’s series opener as Larry Bigbie drove in a career-high seven runs to lead the Orioles to an 11-2 rout. Bigbie had an RBI double in the fifth, then capped a pair of five-run innings with a three-run double in the sixth and a three-run homer in the seventh.
Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro belted his 548th career homer, tying Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for 10th place on the all-time list. With a two-run shot off the upper deck in right, Palmeiro reached 20 homers for the 14th straight season, matching a feat previously accomplished by Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Eddie Mathews and Schmidt.
The Orioles have won three of four.
The Twins suffered their first loss since a 4-1 setback at Baltimore on Sept. 6.